Internal Revenue Service General Attorney (Tax), Special Counsel (Passthroughs & Special Industries) in District of Columbia, District Of Columbia

  • Duties



The Office of Chief Counsel, IRS, the largest tax law firm in the country, is looking for enthusiastic individuals to join our team and gain valuable experience in a legal environment. Our mission is to serve America's taxpayers fairly and with integrity by providing correct and impartial interpretation of the internal revenue laws and the highest quality legal advice and representation for the Internal Revenue Service. It's a great place to work with an excellent benefits package and family-friendly atmosphere.

This position is located in the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Passthroughs & Special Industries), Washington, DC. The Special Counsel serves as a staff official and confidential advisor to the Associate Chief Counsel (Passthroughs & Special Industries). As such, he/she assists the Associate in the formulation of policies and programs for the operation of the Office, and performs special assignments on cases and projects. The Special Counsel represents the Associate in the guidance review process, and acts as a personal consultant to both the Associate and Deputy Associate Chief Counsel on a variety of legal, technical, and tax litigation matters. This specific position requires substantive tax knowledge and experience handing tax matters involving passthrough taxation, including the taxation of partnerships (including limited liability companies), S corporations, trusts, and their owners and beneficiaries, the classification of entities, passive activity losses, at-risk rules, and tax shelters.

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  • As directed by the Associate Chief Counsel, considers legal, technical, legislative, or litigation matters having broad ramifications or particular importance and renders decisions thereon.
  • Acts as a personal legal and technical consultant to the Associate on the most difficult, important and complex legal matters arising in the administration of the Internal Revenue laws, and in particular, with regard to the taxation issues of passthrough entities.
  • Performs exhaustive and detailed research on complicated legal problems and prepares recommendations as to the position to be taken by the Associate Chief Counsel's Office. Signs such recommendations for the Associate within his/her delegated scope of authority.
  • As directed, personally represents the Associate at top level Service and Treasury meetings where policy is developed and determined, as well as in meetings with Congressional staff or the staff of other Federal agencies or instrumentalities. Such representations are for the purposes of furthering, setting forth, and explaining the position of the Chief Counsel's Office, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Treasury Department.
  • Reviews and advises on the impact of proposed legislation, and participates in the development and coordination of legislative proposals.
  • As assigned, acts in an advisory capacity to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, and other top Service and Treasury officials, advising them of possible courses of action and the consequences of controversial, complex or unique problems.
  • As a personal representative of the executive on professional legal matters, contributes to the policies and precedents guiding the conduct of legal activities of the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department.
  • Performs and aids in the successful management and operation of the administrative functions assigned, reporting to the executive.
  • Performs such other professional duties as the executive may direct.
Travel Required

Occasional travel - 5% or greater

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


Who May Apply
This job is open to…

U.S. citizens and U.S. Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.

Note: Current Office of Chief Counsel Employees must apply under this vacancy announcement to be considered for the position.

Questions? This job is open to 2 groups.

  • #### Job family (Series)

0905 Attorney

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  • Requirements


Conditions of Employment
  • Please refer to "Conditions of Employment".
  • Click "Print Preview" to review the entire announcement before applying.


  • A 1-year trial period is required (unless already completed.)
  • Must successfully complete a background investigation.
  • Complete a Declaration for Federal Employment to determine your suitability for Federal employment, at the time requested by the agency.
  • If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so.
  • Have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.
  • Go through a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) process that requires two forms of identification from the Form I-9. Federal law requires verification of the identity and employment eligibility of all new hires in the U.S.
  • Undergo an income tax verification.
  • The employment of any candidate, including a current employee or a new hire, selected for this position may be conditional upon classification and/or audit of federal tax returns. This audit may include up to 2 years of returns.

You must meet the following requirements by the closing date of the announcement:

To qualify for this position at the GS-15 grade level, you must possess a J.D. and have one year of general legal experience plus three years of specialized legal tax experience, equivalent in scope and effect to the GS-14 level. An LL.M. degree in the field of the position (tax) may be substituted for one year of general legal experience listed above.

Specialized Experience: Broad knowledge of Federal tax statutes, regulations, decisions, rulings, and precedents. Substantive knowledge of tax law as it pertains to passthrough entities, including the taxation of partnerships (including limited liability companies), S Corporations, trusts, and their owners and beneficiaries, classification of entities, passive activity losses, at risk rules, and tax shelters. Basic knowledge of tax litigation processes. Thorough knowledge and understanding of the Chief Counsel mission and organization, and the interrelationship of its programs/policies with those of the Service, the General Counsel's Office, and Treasury. Ability to research complex legal problems/matters and to analyze and forecast the ramifications of alternate resolutions or courses of action. Ability to prepare/write legal tax documents/issuances ranging from complex tax documents designed for legal practitioners to non-technical/educational materials targeted for more general use. Ability to develop and foster effective and productive communications with others, and to represent the Office in executive and professional meetings.

  • The J.D. and/or the LL.M. must be from an ABA-accredited law school.
  • Candidates must be admitted to practice law before the highest court of a state or territory of the United States; the District of Columbia; or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The experience may have been gained in the public, private sector, or Volunteer Service.

One year of experience refers to full-time work; part-time work is considered on a prorated basis. To ensure full credit for your work experience, please indicate dates of employment by month/year, and indicate number of hours worked per week, on your resume.


Applicants must possess a J.D. and have one year of general legal experience plus three years of professional legal tax experience. An LL.M. degree in the field of the position (tax) may be substituted for one year of general legal experience listed above. The education generally must be from an accredited (or pre-accredited) college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Specialized experience may have been gained while employed in a professional legal position in the Federal, state, or local government, the private sector including law firms, or nongovernmental organizations.

Additional information
  • We will not pay relocation expenses.
  • We may select from this announcement or any other source to fill one or more vacancies.
  • This is a non-bargaining unit position.
  • We offer opportunities for flexible work schedules.
  • Occasional travel is required.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Your application includes your resume and responses to the online questions and required supporting documents. Please be sure that your resume includes detailed information to support your qualifications for this position; failure to provide sufficient evidence in your resume will result in a “not qualified” determination.

Rating: Your application will be rated and ranked among others, based on your responses to the online questions, regarding your experience, training, performance appraisals and awards relevant to the duties of this position. Your rating may be lowered, if your responses to the online questions are not supported by the experience described in your application.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, the Executive Resources Branch will assess your overall specialized knowledge and experience as it relates to the position to be filled, compare it to the other applicants' knowledge and experience and determine the candidate best qualified for the position. The board may or may not conduct interviews. You will be notified of the outcome.

Veterans' preference is applied after applicants are assessed. Preference-eligibles will be listed at the top of the certificate in alphabetical order and considered before non-preference-eligibles. All other candidates will be listed in alphabetical order and be listed below those with preference.

Referral: If you are among the top qualified candidates, you may be required to participate in a selection interview. We will not reimburse costs related to the interview such as travel to and from the interview site. To preview questions please click here.

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

  • Required Documents


Required Documents

A complete application includes (1) a resume, (2) vacancy question responses, and (3) submission of any required documents. Please note that if you do not provide all required information, as specified in this announcement, you may not be considered for this position (or may not receive the special consideration for which you may be eligible).

You must submit the following documents: 1) Memorandum of Interest summarizing your interest in the position. 2) Resume detailing your relevant qualifications and specialized knowledge and experience. 3) A copy of your most recent official performance appraisal, or a progress review. 4) A copy of Bar Certification 5) Current Chief Counsel Employees Only a Supervisory Report (ERB Form 1-88, Rev 4/2011) regarding your suitability for the position as completed by your current or most recent supervisor. You are responsible for notifying your supervisor that this report must be received no later than five workdays after the closing date of this announcement.

All applicants are required to submit a resume either by creating one in USAJOBS or uploading one of their own choosing. To receive full credit for relevant experience, please list the month/year and number of hours worked for experience listed on your resume. We suggest that you preview the online questions, as you may need to customize your resume to ensure that it supports your responses to these questions. Please review resume tips.

VETERANS' PREFERENCE DOCUMENTATION:There is no formal rating system for applying veterans’ preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Office of Chief Counsel considers veterans’ preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. If you are claiming veterans’ preference, you must submit a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, DD-214 (Member 4 copy), or other official documentation from a branch of the Armed Forces or the Department of Veterans Affairs showing dates of service and type of discharge. Ten-point preference eligibles must also submit an Application for 10-point Veteran Preference, SF-15, along with the required documentation listed on the back of the SF-15 form. For more information on veterans' preference view FedsHireVets. If selected, you will be required to submit an original Certificate of Good Standing from your State Bar.

CURRENT AND FORMER FEDERAL EMPLOYEES - Documentation Relating to Your Federal Employment

  • Submit a copy of your SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, which shows your current (or most recent) grade and competitive service status. (The “position occupied” block on the SF-50 should show a “1” or "2" and your “tenure” block should show a “1” or “2”.)

  • Indicate on your application the highest permanent grade you have held; if this grade is different from your current grade; submit a copy of an additional SF-50 showing this grade.

  • Submit a copy of your most recent, signed, completed annual performance appraisal which includes the final rating. If the performance appraisal is not dated within the last 12months or if you have not received a performance appraisal, please explain why in your application.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

  • Benefits



A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.

Review our benefits

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

  • How to Apply


How to Apply

The following instructions outline our application process. You must complete this application process and submit any required documents by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET, Monday - Friday). If applying online poses a hardship, please contact us by noon ET on the announcement's closing date. Treasury provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us if you require this for any part of the application and hiring process.

  • To begin,either click the “Create a New Account” button and follow the prompts to register or if you previously registered, click the "Apply Online" button and follow the prompts.
  • You will be re-directed to Treasury’s CareerConnector system to complete your application process; answer the online questions, and submit all required documents. (To submit supporting documents, click one of the available options; Upload; Fax; or Reuse existing documents. To protect your privacy, we suggest you first remove your SSN). Also, go to “My Account” to view and update your information, as necessary.
  • To complete, you must click the “Finish” button located at the bottom of the “Application Review” page.
  • To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account, select the Application Status link and then select the* more information* link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application.
  • To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete. If you are experiencing system issues with your application, please contact the CareerConnector Help Desk at** and/or the*USAJOBS Help Desk*.

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Agency contact information
Carrie Middleton

202 317-6578





INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE 1111 Constitution Ave. NW Room 7613 Washington, District of Columbia United States

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Next steps

To check the status of your application for this position, please follow these steps:

  1. Login to your USAJOBS account, select the "Applications" section and click on the vacancy you would like to view and have already applied for.

  2. Under "application status," click "additional application information" and you will be taken to the CareerConnector website where you can check your application status. The "additional application information" link may not be available if your application status says "Unavailable." This indicates that your application is not complete.

If the "additional application information" link is not available and the vacancy is still open, you can click on the job announcement and "Update Application" to be taken back to the CareerConnector portion of the application.

Please notify us if your contact information changes after the closing date of the announcement. Also, note that if you provide an email address that is inaccurate or if your mailbox is full or blocked (e.g., spam-blocker), you may not receive important communication that could affect your consideration for this position.

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  • Fair & Transparent
Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants

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Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

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Legal and regulatory guidance
  • Financial suitability
  • Social security number request
  • Privacy Act
  • Signature and false statements
  • Selective Service
  • New employee probationary period

This job originated on For the full announcement and to apply, visit Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 03/07/2018 to 03/28/2018

Salary: $134,789 to $164,200 per year

Pay scale & grade: GS 15

Work schedule: Full-Time - Full-Time Career

Appointment type: Permanent